Rat Kitty

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Travel : hints tips and thoughts

When a starched shirt is needed when travelling- drop it off at a good dry cleaners before your trip and have the cleaner fold the shirt instead of placing on a hangar..

Never get the additional Insurance offered by the rental car company- most credit cards already have this add-on insurance coverage

sidestep.com kayak.com farechase.com travelaxe.com and travelocity are the best for finding good deals...bestfares.com can also be pretty good .

When travelling overseas- and plan on converting US money- always makes sure the bills are crisp- a lot of money-change places won't take ratty US currency.

Never buy travelers checks- a total waste- Use the local ATGM machines instead- plus the exchange rate is the "Jumbo" rate - which means it's a better rate than out on the street.
(and never change money from a guy on the street- if you do- I promise -you will end up with a stack of newsprint sandwiched between a couple of real bills ) .

Invoke "rule 240" with the airline - if you are significantly delayed (except for weather reasons) - this means the carrier puts you on another carriers flight (won't usually work with carriers such as Southwest - that don't "inter-line") .... It's not a bad idea to print-out the carrier's "Rule 240" plan from their website and keep it near. Younger employee's may not be familiar with it- producing it can mean the difference between continuing the journey "off-line" (another carrier) or waiting for 10 hours in a stuffy hot crowded terminal at the mercy of the carrier.
go to http://www.mytravelrights.com for links to the carrier's "rule 240" pages.

Never accept "NO" as the final answer. I always apply the "2 out of 3" rule...which means you (suprisngly) will get a different answer from the next airline/hotel/travel person from whom you ask the same question or request.

It's more comfortable to get 2 "aisle " seats across from each other than a "window " and and "aisle" in the same row (because nowadays you can count on someone sitting in the "middle" seat)

Having learned this one the "hard way" on several aoccasions- it's worth the few extra bucks to rent from Avis or Hertz - their cars are always ready - and available- and painless to check-out once you arrive at the facility- too many times we saved a few bucks from a 3rd tier company and waited around an hour or two while the car was "getting prepared" .

In Las Vegas- the monrail is well worth it (buy the extended pass if feasible)

Commander's Palace restaurant (in Las Vegas - or N.O. ) is the best and one helluva bargain.

I like to bring a tiny spray bottle of "air freshener" for the hotel bathroom- enough said...
www.watkins.com the non-aersol vanilla room freshener is perfect size and smells nice.

I have a "travel list" that I print off every time before packing to make sure nothing is missed.
Some itmes may not apply -depending on where/when /how long the trip is.

Meds Cell Phone Cell Phone Charger Travel Kit
Headphones Keys to Suitcase Travel Hanging Wallet
Itinerary Driver’s License Passport Insurance Card
Auto Policy Debit Card Marriott Visa AMEX
Car Rental Card Raytheon ID Hotel Reward Card
Computer Power Supply Ethernet Phone Line
Power Cord Linksys Hub VPN Software
Shorts Utensils Moccasins Night Shirt
T-Shirts Flight Vest Camera Battery
Battery Charger USB cable for transferring photo
Memory cards
If taking Dogs: Stakes Dog beds
Two comforters Food bowls
Water bowls

Long distance calling card
Angel Fire key
Sirius radio Radio Antenna
Bracket Power adapter/cord
FM wire for car tuner Blue bag